By Penketh Group Insights Team
13th May 2020
For more information on the sneeze guards and protective screens we have available or to place your order, simply get in touch by calling 0151 737 5000 or filling out our Contact Form.
This month the government released a document of guidelines around workplace safety as the UK workforce contemplates the idea of going back to work after the country enters the very initial phases of lifting its lockdown. Although most will continue to work from home for now, safety is at the forefront of everybody’s minds, with sneeze guards and desk protection screens seeming like a favourable solution for a COVID-secure workplace.
The official government guidelines published promote new suggested measures put in place to keep employees safe, healthy and well-separated. This includes 2-metre social distancing floor markings, staggered working hours and distanced, outdoor meetings where video conference calls aren’t possible. Acrylic, plastic and Plexiglas desk dividers and sneeze guard glass are also something that look to become commonplace in the post-pandemic workplace.
First and foremost, employers are being advised to review the layout of their workplaces so that staff can work side-by-side or back-to-back (rather than face-to-face) and always at a 2 metre distance from once another. Hot-desking and shared workspaces are to be avoided entirely too. Where any of these measures aren’t possible – or for extra precaution – anti-viral COVID screens are the recommended solution.
Our Purchasing team have been working hard behind the scenes to collate a range of sneeze guards and free-standing screens in a range of options, finishes, fittings, manufacturers and price points to ensure we’ve got an option to suit every workplace. So, whether you’re looking to shield your reception desk or divide a bank of bench desks, we’ve got something for you – and if you need custom measures or fitting, we can do that too.
Simply get in touch with our Customer Service team today to talk through your options by calling 0151 737 5000 or emailing email@example.com
A future-proof & multifunctional office design solution
Although employee safety and creating a COVID-secure workplace is of paramount importance right now, some are worried that once normality resumes, there won’t be a place in the ‘normal’ office for these sneeze guards and screens.
Before we wrap up this blog post though, our experts want to ease these concerns by sharing ways in which the desk dividers and free-standing screens you invest in now can help future-proof your workspace and offer additional benefits going forward. They are far, far more than just a physical barrier between staff.
One of the biggest bugbears of open plan workspaces and activity-based working (ABW) is excess noise. As people move about more nomadically and sound travels more freely, the lack of acoustic control can cause problems with concentration, communication, productivity and mental wellbeing. Having these screens in place will help create barriers around the space to block out some of this background noise.
Non-invasive space division
For ABW to be successful, workplaces need to offer a variety of different work settings which support a diverse range of tasks and personalities. In an open-plan office, these different ‘neighbourhoods’ and ‘micro-environments’ need to be zoned somehow, without detracting from the many benefits of open working – transparent screens are a great way to do this. Transparency means they don’t visually obstruct or shrink the space but still have the ability to facilitate zonal working.
Agile working & adaptability
Free-standing screens are one of the most adaptable and flexible solutions you can introduce into a workspace. Being on wheels means they can be moved around the space according to task and requirement, whether it’s zoning off an impromptu meeting, being used as an easy-clean, write-on surface for a collaborative breakout session, or creating a semi-shielded private space for somebody to work in when they need a quiet place to focus.
A more inclusive workplace
Being able to provide this agility and being able to accommodate different types of work setting is an effective way to make your workplace more inclusive. Our Inclusive Workplaces: The Future of Office Design & Culture report, which we published earlier this year, revealed that more than 70% of UK employees want to work for an inclusive company which caters for different types of people, with a majority agreeing that they would leave – or have considered leaving – a job due to a lack of inclusive culture or facilities.
Bolstering future infection control
When it comes to employee wellbeing and protecting your workforce, it isn’t just Coronavirus that you need to be concerned about. Even something way less severe like the common cold can have a significant impact on productivity, wellbeing and absence rates so having precautionary measures in place year-round is a great way to fend against this.